November 2018
Howle's Hints

November to Remember?

“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal
sharing of misery.” ~Winston Churchill

What’s going down in the land of the free? NFL players are taking a knee. Socialists are being elected to public office, antifa groups dressed in black wearing masks are destroying public and private property with baseball bats and being praised by some in the media. New York’s unhinged governor, Andrew Cuomo, stated at a gathering of like-minded America-bashers, "America was never that great." This November, I think we should take time to realize just how blessed we are to live in this great country. Even when we hear detached, elected officials in other states and the media talking about the glowing wonders of socialism, communism and a borderless America, the rest of us are left to sift through the "fake news" to get to the truth.

In a nutshell, here’s the truth. The Mayflower arrived in Plymouth Harbor in 1620 carrying pilgrims searching for religious freedom. They referred to this land as the "New Jerusalem," full of God’s promises and bountiful blessings. In 1621, the Plymouth Colonists and Wampanoag Indians shared an autumn harvest feast that is widely accepted to be the first Thanksgiving. In 1863 during the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln called for a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November. This Thanksgiving, let us truly be thankful for this great land and those who sacrificed so greatly for it, let us pray for our elected officials, and let the wisdom of God intervene across our great land.


Train Your Brain to Keep Both Eyes Open

November is a great time to brush up your shooting skills for the farm. Often, when you are feeding cattle, you might get a shot at a running coyote or get a quick shot at a deer. In either scenario, it’s important to keep both eyes open to get the shot. You can train your brain to shoot with both eyes open by convincing your brain to focus the dominant eye into the sight or scope.

Each of us has a dominant eye. This is known as ocular dominance. Here’s a trick for determining which eye is your dominant eye. Hold your arm extended while making a circular "ok" sign with your thumb and forefinger. With both eyes open, center this circle on a distant object such as a clock on the wall. Close your left eye. If the object stays centered, the right eye is the dominant eye. If the clock is no longer in the center of your circle, your left eye is dominant.

Now that you know which eye is dominant, you can practice shooting with both eyes open by focusing the target with the dominant eye. Why is this important? Three reasons: 1) Keeping both eyes open allows the shooter a much greater field of vision. This is especially helpful if a deer is walking through thick forests and you have to keep the animal in your sights. 2) The second benefit of shooting with both eyes open is getting a shot at moving game. If a coyote is trotting across an open field below your location, two eyes allow you the chance to track the animal through the scope and take the shot with an appropriate lead. If you are taking this shot, follow-through is important so you don’t shoot behind the animal. 3) The final and most important reason to shoot with both eyes open is safety. With a greater field of vision, you are much less likely to unintentionally shoot something outside of your aiming zone. If you are taking a shot at a running coyote with only one eye open in the sight, you might accidentally hit one of your prized heifers or worse.

Exclusion cages allow you to see how much forage is being eaten.



Exclusion Cages

Exclusion cages are the best way to determine if wildlife is eating your planted forage, and they give you an idea of how much is being eaten. You can simply make a hoop out of dog wire or goat wire and secure it in place with a couple of metal T-posts. You do need to use wire with small-diameter openings so small game such as rabbits can’t get in.

Small exclusion cages are great to use in planted food plots, but if you want to determine the amount of forage larger livestock such as cattle are eating you can make a large exclusion cage with a round bale feeder cage. Simply wrap small diameter wire around the perimeter of the round bale cage and secure it with any small wire.


Scraping firebreaks prevents wildfires and provides silent stalking.


Silent Stalking

Wouldn’t it be great if you could walk through the woods in complete silence as you stalk your prey? If you walk through the woods in winter, the dry leaves sound like someone crunching bags of Doritos. Use this time of year to hook to the scrape blade and clear your firebreaks of dry leaves and debris. Not only will you prevent out-of-control wildfires, you can create paths for silent stalking down these firebreaks.


Fluid Check

Now’s the time to make sure all fluids are checked or replaced before the chilling winds of winter take place. Add gas stabilizer to your small engines and let them run for a few minutes to bathe the pistons and moving parts with oil before you store for the winter. This is especially important for gas-powered generators. Also, make sure the fluid levels in your farm’s implements are up to the proper level, and make sure the tractor tires have the proper ballast to prevent freezing. Finally, put some antifreeze in your spray tanks and run the antifreeze through the spray handles to prevent freezing and bursting of the components.

This November be thankful to live in this country and even be thankful that we have freedom of speech-no matter how ignorant some of it may sound.


John Howle is a freelance writer from Heflin.